Maximedia Recommends


Free programs: Web editors

HTML-Kit Tools

Discounted, HTML-Kit Tools is a bargain. I bought it at New Year for $29 but I could have had it for $19 if I'd learned about it at Christmas. The regular price is $59 and they ask you to pay $69 if you can afford it.

So far it has lived up to all its advertising and more. It has Html-Tidy built in to check your code, even for HTML-5, and says you can view pages on your iPad or another computer as you edit so that you have a second screen -- useful for me since I use a netbook for most of my coding. I haven't yet got it to work with my iPad.

You can even install it on a thumb-drive (USB), with documents, and run it from another computer. Once you have set it up to FTP files, it can prompt you to upload them when you close them.

HTML-Kit Tools also offers the only user guide I've come across that makes jokes.

It can come free

Here's the free part. The earlier version is a giveaway. You can download the free or a trial version at http://www.htmlkit.com/tools/

html5kit
The home page in HTML-Kit Tools. Arrows point to good stuff: many menus.

And this is how this page looks in HTML-Kit 292

screen snap of this page in HTML-Kit 292

Screen shot of this page in HTML-Kit 292

You might prefer the free version to the paid.

What else do you get for your money? Well, Tools keeps revisions so that you can always undo the last changes, and you can run it fullscreen (useful on a netbook). It has lots of shortcuts, many of them standard: full-screen is F11, for example, as in most browsers. It highlights the paragraph you are working on and is the only html editor I have found that makes the collapse sections command easy to use on a regular basis.

HTML-Kit Tools also gives you an easy preview of your page in various window sizes.

Finally, finally, it can beautify and minify your HTML, and does screenshots. Eat your heart out, Dreamweaver.

But what's wrong with it?

There must be something wrong. Yes, its code completion is not as helpful as some rivals, which means you have to know something of HTML and CSS on your own. For example, it won't prompt you for the right tag when you type "

Even this is not quite accurate. You can set HTML-Kit Tools to give you a live preview. But it doesn't keep the two views automatically in synch.

But since it comes with live preview of server-side includes, I'm not going to complain too much.

BlueGriffon, my earlier recommendation, does allow you to edit in design view, and does Microsoft's Visual Studio. One further tiny gripe: it doesn't update links for you, as distinct from Dreamweaver. But not many people are going to pay $19 a month to Adobe just for that.

Works with Filezilla

For posting your files on the Web, you can easily set up Filezilla, my favourite FTP client, to run alongside HTML-Kit Tools, and it will only copy across newer files if you want. The single-file FTP that is built-in works well even if cumbersome.

For my earlier recommendations and why they are no longer my favourites, see Old Recommendations


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